Law in Offing; A ‘Wrong Map’ of India will Have Legal Costs

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Next time, don’t make a mistake, it may cost Rs 100 Cr and land you in a jail for seven long years.

The law is in the offing and applies to online portals or physical documents if “wrong map of India” is depicted.

A report in The Economic Times says the Narendra Modi led union government is mulling a new law and any depiction of a “wrong map of India” or showing Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) or Arunachal Pradesh as not a part of India on may have legal costs.

The Union government is planning to bring “Geospatial Information Regulation Bill” by which such tough provisions will be brought and any person or institution acquiring and disseminating any geospatial imagery or data of any part of India through space or aerial platforms will have to first seek permission and license from a government authority.

“This could mean that online platforms like Google will have to apply for a license to run Google Maps or Google Earth in India. The government authority will run sensitivity checks on the imagery to protect India’s security and sovereignty,” the report added.

“The law is meant to regulate the acquisition, dissemination, publication and distribution of geospatial information of India which is likely to affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India, as per a draft. Geospatial Information has been defined as any imagery or data acquired through space or aerial platforms such as satellite, aircrafts, airships, balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles or graphical or digital data depicting natural or man-made physical features, phenomenon or boundaries of the earth or any information including surveys, charts, maps and terrestrial photos,” the law says.

“Without permission of a Security Vetting Authority which will be duly set up by the government, it has been specified that no person shall, in any manner, make use of, disseminate, publish or distribute any geospatial information of India – either inside India or abroad, without a license. It has been specified that no person shall depict, disseminate, publish or distribute any wrong or false topographic information of India including international boundaries through internet platforms or online services or in any electronic or physical form. The penalties would be seven year jail and One crore fine,” the report said.

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